Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
The Broncos started the match in fine form, scoring two tries in just 17 minutes. But despite being down 12-0, the Cowboys came back into contention and at half time, the Broncos were in front 18-10.
The match was played at a frenetic pace in the second half with both sides creating numerous opportunities.
With 10 minutes to go, the match was still up for grabs. But in the 72nd minute, Broncos? half back Brett Seymour capped off his man-of-the-match performance with a field goal, giving the home side a seven point buffer.
Minutes later, full back Karmichael Hunt scored to seal victory for the Broncos.
Suncorp Stadium, Crowd: 43,438 Referee: Tim Mander
By the clock: A few minutes away from kick off. A tremendous day for Rugby League in Brisbane and a huge crowd of some 40,000 people at old Lang Park to see this Queensland 'local derby'. Looking forward to half back Brett Seymour coming back from injury for the Broncos. Meanwhile the North Queensland Cowboys will be out to prove their great 2004 season was no fluke.
Only significant change to programme is the omission of Dane Carlaw from the Broncos who is replaced by Sam Thaiday who comes in on the bench.
Magnificent atmosphere. Fasten your seat belts...
Players on the field...
0 min: Kickoff!
4-6 min: NEWS - Broncos get a penalty and go for four points rather than an easy two points. Josh Hannay for the Cowboys intercepts and runs some 30 metres. Broncos get the ball back and Seymour puts up a bomb which is knocked on by the Cowboys. End-to-end stuff, Broncos on attack and look set to score, only to see ball go to ground.
7 min: TRY - Broncos. Corey Parker scores following a Cowboys error. Cowboys' front rower Shane Tronc flicks the ball to Parker who ran away with it. Conversion Darren Lockyer. Broncos 6-0
10 min: MISSED GOAL - What looked like a gift two points for Broncos is missed by Lockyer. Cowboys penalised for not getting off the tackled player and are looking rattled.
15 min: NEWS - Cowboys well on the attack after Ty Williams slides through. A forward pass is ruled in the next ruck and this stops the movement. Best passage of play from the Cowboys so far.
17 min: TRY - Broncos. Shaun Berrigan scores in the next set, running onto a kick from Seymour. This try against the run of play. Conversion Lockyer. Broncos 12-0
20 min: DRINKS BREAK - Broncos full back Karmichael Hunt is some trouble after earlier copping a finger in the eye. Brad Thorn coming on after four years of Rugby Union, and is subsequently hammered in the first tackled.
24 min: TRY - Cowboys. Full back Matt Bowen scores just to the left of the uprights. A tremendous passage of play with Paul Bowman and Chris Sheppard getting between Lockyer and Brent Tate. Conversion Hannay. Broncos 12-6
27 min: TRY - Broncos Lockyer scores a sensational try following a set play. Conversion Lockyer from right in front. Broncos 18-6
36 min: TRY - Cowboys. Ty Williams scores after an outstanding display of backing up and attacking football. A top pass from Jonathon Thurston sending Williams into the corner. Conversion attempt from Hannay just misses. Broncos 18-10
HALF TIME: Broncos 18-10 An exciting first half of footy played at a frenetic pace. The Broncos getting the better run of play early with mistake free football, Lockyer and Seymour shining. In contrast the Cowboys were making some unforced errors. But the Cowboys have come back to show that we're in for a great second half. Bowen is chiming in beautifully while Bowman is finding room in the centres.
Second half underway...
43 min: TRY - Cowboys. Rod Jensen makes an impact from the bench and scores on the right edge of the ruck. Follows a beaut pass from Carl Webb which created the overlap. Conversion Hannay. Broncos 18-16
47 min: TRY - Broncos. Brett Seymour scores as the Cowboys are caught short on the right side. Follows a handling error from the Cowboys. Conversion from Lockyer is unsuccessful. Broncos 22-16
55 min: NEWS - Still 22-16 to the locals. David Stagg for the Broncos is tackling the house down. Cowboys slipping into a few errors but showing plenty of committment in attack. Broncos remaining composed. This match still too hard call a winner.
58 min: NEWS - A tremendous run from Cowboys' forward Rod Jensen brings the house down. Jensen was desperately looking for support as he found himself in open space. Ty Williams was eventually on hand only to be ankle tapped.
60 min: DRINKS BREAK - And well deserved. Weather update: A bit of relief from the heat with afternoon light rain falling.
65 min: NO TRY - Broncos denied as Casey McGuire loses the ball forward. Follows a Cowboys' knock-on 10 metres out from their own line. The pace of the match now being played at fever pitch. Still 22-16 to the Broncos.
70 min: NEWS - Still 22-16 in favour of the Broncos. Drizzle getting heavier. The Broncos right on the attack. The match still going end-to-end.
72 min: FIELD GOAL - Broncos. Seymour strikes what could be a killer blow. Broncos 23-16
77 min: TRY - Broncos. Full back Karmichael Hunt puts the sealer on the game. With plenty of work to do, Hunt forces his way over. Conversion Lockyer. Broncos 29-16
FULL TIME A terrific game of football which was up for grabs until the last 10 minutes. The Broncos just too good in the end and showing a little more control, taking advantage of a few North Queensland errors. Despite the loss, the Cowboys have shown that they will be a force to be reckoned with 2005.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Seymour (Broncos) 2 - D Lockyer (Broncos) 1 - P Bowman (Cowboys) -----------------------------------------